Featured photo: Students singing at Nairobi’s Ongata Pine Breeze Academy
Lillian Alwi, right, leads students in song at the Ongata Pine Breeze Academy outside Nairobi, Kenya. As school director, Alwi has used two loans from the Kenya Women’s Finance Trust (KWFT) to build Pine Breeze into a bustling source of hope for more than 500 children from a poor community in the Ngong Hills – “my passion,” she says. OPIC has provided $6.5 million in financing to KWFT through the agency’s two microfinance lending facilities with Citibank. Under a mission “to be the women’s financial solutions provider with a difference,” KWFT has grown from modest beginnings in 1981 into a microfinance powerhouse of 2000 staff members, 222 local offices and 580,000 clients – empowering thousands of Kenyan women to expand their small businesses and raise their standards of living.